I’ve called myself agnostic, atheist, and sometimes just not quite sure. But here’s a quote I like that puts it into perspective.
“The Romans called the Christians atheists. Why? Well, the Christians had a god of sorts, but it wasn’t a real god. They didn’t believe in the divinity of apotheosized emperors or Olympian gods. They had a peculiar, different kind of god. So it was very easy to call people who believed in a different kind of god atheists. And that general sense that an atheist is anybody who doesn’t believe exactly as I do prevails in our own time.” Carl Sagan, “The Varieties of Scientific Experience”
I started writing this piece when the school bombing happened in Pakistan, which wasn’t an entirely religious incident as it turned out. But the holidays happened and I never finished writing the blog and connecting everything. As I went through my writings this week to decide what I wanted to post next, I saw this one and I decided to dot my i’s and cross my t’s as well as I could, and just post the darn thing. And then, more stupidity happens.
Three heavily armed men have attacked a French satirical magazine based in Paris – AlJezeera.com
Cabu died with several other colleagues, alongside the brave policemen who tried to stop the carnage. As the attack took place, the assailants allegedly mentioned their connection to Yemen, and that the “Prophet had been avenged.” – Charlie Hebdo: Are we not allowed to laugh any more?
And now I say that if there is a god,
I hope he/she is at the very least is not a tribal god, either of the sectarian or nationalist version. I hope his name isn’t Odin orThor. Or her name isn’t Freyja, Isis or Hecate. Why? Because these gods are small. They lead small countries and small tribes. If you were not in these tribes you were slaughtered. You were an infidel. Your children were burned, chopped or enslaved. Your wives were raped or tortured. Your crops were destroyed and your houses demolished. You were vermin. Disgusting. Hated. To be stomped, slaughtered, and forgotten. As the old testament states it, the enemy was to be wiped out, to be remembered no more.
If I did find evidence of a tribal god and his existence was proven to me, I could not bow to that god, no matter whether his name be Allah, Jehovah, Jesus, or Ahura-Mazda. My question would be, why can’t you love the kid that lives on the other side of the fence? Is his hair the wrong color?
And what of the Hindus and the people of Nepal? There is even a living goddess. People bring their children to be blessed by this goddess and leave gifts of money or baubles. They have little money, but they give happily. It’s easy for someone who stands on the west side of the world to judge them as deceived as they offer their gifts of money, tokens, or even the blood of goats in honor to their gods. It’s disgusting for a westerner to watch. I don’t like blood. Right? But I just watched the video of the war in Syria and there’s blood bathed bodies lining the streets. Ironically, we would judge saying they are deceived and we are much smarter.
But our god is real, we say
I’ve seen people bring their children forward to be prayed for by pastors. I know that rock star longing to be touched by the visiting preacher. It’s no different. It hasn’t changed from one famous person to the next. It’s been well manipulated in our time and even in times long past.
We need to change some things in this world we live in. Some things need to be off limits. No, I don’t mean the prophet Mohammed. I mean the killing of each other. For what purpose? A drawing? Get real. I used to draw pictures of my teachers. Did they shoot me on the parking lot or the streets of Collinsville? Gun me down?
What can we do?
- Give to a charity or an organization that helps war-torn nations. United Nations-Refugees
- Be secular. That doesn’t mean anti-god. It just means, doing something without having to do it in the name of a god. Every time I go to the grocery store or go to work, I don’t pay my bill or pick up my pay check “in the name of my god.” @BeSecular-twitter
- Speak up when you see injustice.
- Modify religion. It doesn’t have to be about hate. We all know this. Let’s first check our own hearts for any hatred, then our own religion. Spread love and kindness outwards.
It seems, according to a recent posting on FaceBook that made me aware of it (TV-free as I am), that the current Pope would agree with YOU – coming out with the thought that not *everything* in the Christian Bible is meant to be take literally, women need to welcomed into the priesthood, and more amazing things, given the long-standing dogma of the Catholic Church. WOW.
Of course, many will rally and call him out as the anti-Christ, no doubt – but if one believes that he is God’s representative on earth, isn’t that tantamount to blasphemy? See, it’s the inconsistencies of the established “religions” that get to me most – and make it difficult for me to find my way.
For ME “. . . and the greatest of these is LOVE” says everything I need to believe.
Anyhoo, I’ll be backlinking to an article on my blog, “The Link between Leadership and Spirituality” – thoughts from Sadhguru, the founder of the ISHA Foundation, a non-religious, non-profit public service organization, operated by millions of volunteers across 150 cities.
I’ll ping you when it’s done — and would love to know your thoughts on his thoughts (and mine).
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
– ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
“It takes a village to transform a world!”
Yes, yes, yes, include me on your link for the ISHA Foundation. I’m always looking for more solutions. I’m intrigued by this Pope. He’s said some interesting things. Quite out of the cookie cutter than the religion he serves. And yes I agree, the greatest of these is Love. I appreciate your jumping in on this. Bless you my child…oh wait, I’m not the pope. 🙂
’tis done – not sure why it hasn’t shown up as a ping. Yep – this Pope is a rare visionary in the Catholic crowd for SURE!
RE: “not the pope” — Go to YouTube & search for Wayne Dyer/leukemia/Juicy Tour (any of those and look for all).
I really liked this article, and the comments. I do think this is a cookie cutter pope–handmade for the twitterfeed, complete with happy faces that ensure his meme has a bright future for the Vatican. Religion, as you said, is a machine. It’s so hard to face… it’s devastating when you realize it’s true… but when no one teaches us that one day we do, indeed, outgrow religions and their icons it’s a frightening walk to take.